Italians may soon be banned from smoking electronic cigarettes in schools, it was announced yesterday.
The news follows growing health concerns about the chemicals contained within the electronic devices - and just five days after the French government announced it would be banning them in all public places.
Although a decision to ban their use in Italian schools was made yesterday at a meeting organized by the Css, the Italian Supreme council of health, the proposal has yet to be approved by Italy’s Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin.
Designed as a healthier alternative to the traditional tobacco-filled cigarette, the battery-powered pen-sized devices contain liquid nicotine that turns into vapour when inhaled. They are designed to give the user a similar sensation to that of smoking a cigarette.
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Currently, electronic cigarettes - which were invented in China in 2003 - can be freely used in Italian schools, bars and restaurants - as well as in the workplace, where tobacco cigarettes have been banned since 2005.
However, health experts have expressed concerns about chemicals contained within the liquid nicotine, which includes the compound propylene glycol.